MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 in Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel


Traveling exhibition Triennial SUD – Salon Urbain de Douala: addressing public space in the city of Douala, Cameroon

June 25th – July 9th, 2017 | Ausstellungsraum Klingental

Opening: June 24th, 6pm
with an opening speech by Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, doual’art director and book presentation of Public Art in Africa. Art et transformations urbaines à Douala /// Art and Urban Transformations in Douala (Metis Presses, 2017) by its editor, Iolanda Pensa.

Collateral event
June 28th, 2pm-5.30pm
Workshop: Literature and sources about African cities and territories. How to fill the knowledge gap and the use of open access.
Department of History, University of Basel, Hirschgässlein 21, 4051 Basel, Switzerland.

MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 explores the relationship between artistic production and urban transformation in Africa. It does so through the remarkable experience of SUD – Salon Urbain de Douala, an international triennial festival dedicated to public art that was inaugurated in 2007 in Douala, Cameroon, and that has brought a conspicuous number of Cameroonian and international artists to engage with communities of various neighborhoods and the public spaces these relate to in the city. All artworks are realized with local resources, thereby supporting local economies and integrating the projects in the local context. Beside their artistic aims and cultural relevance, these interventions have a strong social and political dimension, fostering the value of the public space and the sense of ownership by the interested communities, something that is not commonly found in African cities. Their impact on citizen’s views and perceptions of the city is significant, as shown by research assessing how culture affects safety and security in African cities, including Douala. The Basel exhibition is also an opportunity to share insights gained through these scientific investigations.

SUD – Salon Urbain de Douala
MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 presents projects and events that have been realized for SUD in 2007, 2010 and 2013 as well as proposals collected for the forthcoming SUD 2017 edition, entitled “The Human Dimension” and planned to take place in December from the 5th to the 10th. SUD as a festival stems from the longtime commitment of doual’art, a non profit cultural organization and art center founded in Douala in 1991 by Didier Schaub and Marilyn Douala Bell, that is dedicated to new urban practices in African cities and to promoting public art. Projects realized for SUD pursue various objectives, including addressing the issue of collective cultural identity by re-installing historical awareness, undertaking infrastructural public interventions or providing inventive solutions to concrete problems, creating identity to areas, locations or places, and improving the public space through public events and shared experiences. SUD is carried out by doual’art in collaboration with ICU art projects, an international artistic project organization based in The Netherlands, & Lucas Grandin.

The traveling exhibition
MAKING DOUALA is a traveling exhibition meant to share with a wider audience the SUD festival achievements and the impact its public art projects have had in terms of urban transformation in Douala. It does so through posters, models, prints, drawings, video and films, documentaries, publications and multimedia installations – each project on its own terms and the overall exhibition in a way that takes into account and adapts to the artistic context of the hosting venue, including with site-specific initiatives. The exhibition in Basel builds on previous editions, that were presented at the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, at Dak’art Dakar and Entrepot Fictief Ghent in 2012, and Gallery Paradise/Le Voyage à Nantes in 2013.

Learnings from Douala
Douala and its notable history of public art interventions have drawn the attention of the scientific community. Along with Luanda in Angola and Johannesburg in South Africa, the economic capital of Cameroon, a city of around 3 million inhabitants, marked by poverty and by fear of violence, criminality, forced evictions and natural disasters, has been at the center of a research project led by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), namely “Mobile Access to Knowledge: Culture and Safety in Africa. Documenting and assessing the impact of public art and cultural events on urban safety”. The investigation appraised how the very presence of artworks in public spaces have indeed an impact, both direct and indirect, in terms of urban safety. They convey the idea that the site is maintained and cared for, they may contribute to urban branding, and most significantly they can help create a shared space that people can strongly relate to. In the most effective cases they trigger humanity, ownership, empowerment, active citizenship, value and sense of pride – an effect that has been reported for artworks in passageways especially, while interventions in roundabouts and squares have a higher probability of being contested.

Within the same project another stream of research, conducted by Marta Pucciarelli, has assessed the relationship between online and offline urban representations in Douala. Its findings have inspired a new work by the Italian artist Roberto Paci Dalò, titled “Douala Flow”, which explores how the discrepancy between the still prevalent oral knowledge and the knowledge as progressively reflected in the digital realm is evolving over time. “Douala Flow”, which will premiere in Basel, is based on a series of dynamic maps that are linked to voices and sounds from radio stations in Douala, celebrating today’s living city.

Opening hours
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 3pm to 6pm
Thursday from 3pm to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm 

Curatorial team and scientific framework
Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Kamiel Verschuren/Xandra Nibbeling/Lucas Grandin, Roberto Paci Dalò, Marta Pucciarelli, Fiona Siegenthaler and Iolanda Pensa. 

MAKING DOUALA 2007-2017 in Basel is developed within the framework of Culture and Safety in Africa, a communication project by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Department for Environment Constructions and Design, Laboratory of visual culture, in partnership with doual’art, ICU art projects & Lucas Grandin, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), University of Basel, with the support of SNF Agora Program.

Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Didier Schaub (†2014), Yves Makongo, Aristide Laure Juissop Pokam, Gilles Ngateu, Caroline Ngouegni and Francine Edinguele.
ICU art projects
Xandra Nibbeling/Kamiel Verschuren & Lucas Grandin
SUPSI – Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Marta Pucciarelli, Roberto Paci Dalò, Iolanda Pensa

Public Art in Africa. Art et transformations urbaines à Douala /// Art and Urban Transformations in Douala, ed. Iolanda Pensa with Marta Pucciarelli, Fiona Siegenthaler, Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Kamiel Verschuren, Xandra Nibbeling, Lucas Grandin, Asta Adukaite, Maud de la Chapelle, MetisPresses, 2017.

Supported by
SNF Agora Program

More information

SUD 2007-2017 participating artists
Philip Aguirre y Otegui (BEL), Mustapha Akrim (MAR), Malala Andrialavidrazana (FRA/MDG), Iván Argote (COL/FRA), Kader Attia (FRA), Philippine Barbou (FRA), Bili Bidjocka (CMR), Sylvie Blocher (FRA), Mariela Borello (CAN), Lard Buurman (NLD), C.A.I.R.E.: Kamiel Verschuren (NLD)/Lucas Grandin (FRA)/Amandine Braud (FRA), Libia Castro (ESP/NLD)/Olafur Olafsson (ISL), Loris Cecchini (ITA), Samuel Chêne (FRA), Collectif Autodafé (CMR), Collectif Kamera: Hervé Dangla (FRA)/Stéphane Akoa (CMR), Aliette Cosset (FRA)/Isabel Forner (FRA)/Sylvain Ohl (FRA), Ginette Daleu (CMR), Etienne Delacroix (BEL), Eric Delphin (CMR), Cecile Demessine (FRA), Maksaens Denis (HTI), Romuald Dikoumé (CMR), Danièle Diwouta-Kotto (CMR), Sandrine Dole (FRA), Justin Ebanda (CMR), Dodji Efoui (CMR), Kouo Eyango (CMR), Em’kal Eyongakpa (CMR), Justine Gaga (CMR), Erik Göngrich (DEU), Lucas Grandin (FRA), Juan Fernando Herrán (COL), Chourouk Hriech (MAR/FRA), ICU art projects: Kamiel Verschuren (NLD)/Xandra Nibbeling (NLD)/Lucas Grandin (FRA), Serge-Olivier Fokoua (CMR), Jean-Jacques Kante (CMR), Aser Kash (COD), Frédéric Keiff (FRA), Joe Kessy (CMR), Koko Komégné (CMR), Achilleka Komguem (CMR), Christina Kubisch (DEU), Faouzi Laatiris (MAR), Goddy Leye (CMR), Salifou Lindou (CMR), Mauro Lugaresi (NLD), Michèle Magema (COD/FRA), Malam (CMR), Ato Malinda (KEN), Lionel Manga (CMR)/Philippe Mouillon (FRA), Landry Mbassi (CMR), Alioum Moussa (CMR), Joël Mpah Dooh (CMR), Edwige Ndjeng (CMR), Benjamin Ewane Ndoumbe (CMR), Jean-David Nkot (CMR), Boris Nzebo (CMR), Malika Ouedraogo (FRA), Laure Poinsot (FRA), Roberto Paci Dalò (ITA), Younès Rahmoun (MAR), Raumlabor (DEU), RAW foundation: Bart-Jan Hooft (SWZ/NLD)/Calanne Moroney (IRL), Tracey Rose (ZAF), Joseph-Francis Sumégné (CMR), Superuse/2012 Architects: Jan Jongert (NLD)/Arie van Ziel (NLD), Aimé Tallo (CMR), Pascale Marthine Tayou (CMR), René Tchebetchou (CMR), The Trinity Session: Stephen Hobbs (ZAF)/Marcus Neustetter (ZAF), Ties Ten Bosch (NLD), Léah Touitou (FRA), Kristine Tsala (CMR), Kamiel Verschuren (NLD), Silvain Wakeu Fogain (CMR), Jules Wokam (CMR), Nelisiwe Xaba (ZAF), Hervé Yamguen (CMR), Emile Youmbi (CMR), Hervé Youmbi (CMR) and Yabhood Zohwko (CMR).

The SUD editions

SUD 2007
Curators: Didier Schaub/Paulin Tchuenbou and associate curator Abdellah Karroum
Production: doual’art with iStrike (since 2009 ICU art projects)

SUD 2010
Curators: Didier Schaub/Simon Njami/Elvira Dyangani/Koyo Kouoh
Production: doual’art with ICU art projects & Lucas Grandin

SUD 2013
Curators: Didier Schaub/Elvira Dyangani/Koyo Kouoh/Gabriela Salgado
Production: doual’art in collaboration with ICU art projects & Lucas Grandin

SUD 2017 (forthcoming, December 5th -10th)
Curator: Cécile Bourne-Farrell
Production: doual’art with ICU art projects & Lucas Grandin


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